- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 18, 2021

NEWS AND OPINION:

Judicial Watch has revealed in a new report the cost of President Biden’s many trips home to his beloved state of Delaware along with two other out-of-state events.

Those trips have run up a bill of “at least” $2,252,600.50 from April 29 to Aug. 8, according to Tom Fitton, president of the watchdog organization.


The total tally also includes the costs of a trip to Atlanta to celebrate Mr. Biden’s first 100 days in office, and a trip to Michigan to “celebrate the progress” of COVID-19 measures.

The records were obtained from the Secret Service through Freedom of Information Act requests for all records concerning the use of U.S. government funds to provide security and/or any other services to Mr. Biden and any companions.

The newly released information covers car rentals, hotel stays and some air and rail travel. But there’s more out there.

“The Air Force has so far failed to respond to requests for information on Air Force One travel costs for these and other Biden trips. And the Secret Service has not yet provided records for other Biden weekend travel to Delaware,” said the report released this week.

Mr. Fitton has experience with these matters — Judicial Watch began investigating and suing to document the costs of presidential travel during the Obama administration.

“The costs of presidential travel and security is of obvious public interest. It is frustrating that after years of litigation through two presidential administrations, the Secret Service and Air Force are still stonewalling the costs of presidential travel,” Mr. Fitton said in a statement.

2022: REPUBLICANS HAVE THE EDGE

Here’s a little promising news for the Republican Party.

“With Election Day in the rearview mirror and both political parties setting their sights on the 2022 midterm elections, a plurality of Americans say that if the election were held today, they would want to see the Republican Party win control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate,” says a Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday.

And the numbers: If the midterm elections were held today, 46% of U.S. adults prefer that the Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate, 40% opted for the Democrats, and 15% didn’t know or did not answer the question.

Meanwhile, 46% of Americans overall would also prefer that the Republicans took control of the House, should the election be held today, 38% chose the Democrats, while 16% did not know or didn’t answer.

See more findings and the particulars of the poll in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

YOUR BORDER PATROL REPORT

Here’s a handy summary of just what Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have faced in recent days, according to reports issued on Thursday alone.

Agents seized 47 fighting roosters and their hen companions in a single vehicle apprehended at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge in Laredo, Texas.

“Officers discovered live poultry under the front seats. Because of the nature of the findings, CBP agriculture specialists were called in to assist with the inspection. Customs and Border Patrol personnel encountered more live poultry inside the purse of the passenger. In all, 47 live birds were found concealed underneath the seats, floor mats, inside the glove compartment and trunk of the vehicle,” the federal agency said in a statement.

Officers in Baltimore also found a shipment of 1,000 solar panels imported from China that did not meet U.S. safety standards, posing risks of both electrocution and fire hazards. The panels all bore a counterfeit safety certification.

“During fiscal year 2020, CBP reported 26,503 counterfeit goods seizures worth an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.3 billion, in the goods were authentic. That comes out to about $3.6 million in counterfeit goods seizures every day,” the agency noted in a separate report.

‘BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE’

Things appear pretty dicey in general around the U.S., and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has a tidy summation of it all.

“Another week, and morale across the country has plummeted: Seventy percent of Americans describe the economy as ‘poor’ or ‘not so good’ — the highest number since last time President Biden served in the White House. U.S. consumer confidence recently plunged to a 10-year low. One in four consumers have reported reducing their living standards as they adjust to the 31-year high inflation rate,” the California Republican said in a Thursday press conference.

“We have a supply chain crisis that continues to rage on, exacerbating the skyrocketing prices and scarcity of goods our citizens are experiencing. And ask yourself this: what has this chamber done, especially this week, to alleviate any of these pressures on our fellow citizens, the people we were sent here to represent? The answer is absolutely nothing,” Mr. McCarthy continued, offering a take on the House itself.

“The Democrat majority under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi is more interested in protecting special interests and delivering tax cuts for their wealthy friends. Speaker Pelosi is burning down the House on her way out the door,” he advised.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Ark, built in 1923 on Moss Point bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California. Four bedrooms, four baths, structure built of timbers and shingles to resemble a large wooden ship; 2,400 square feet. Multiple windows, ceiling beams, rope handrails, stone fireplace, ship-style portholes, oceanfront sleeping port, state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen. Heritage eucalyptus trees, intricate landscaping; “a visit to this magical property is an adventurous exploration.” Priced at $8,995,000 though M & H Brown; visit the “featured properties” heading at Markusandheidi.com.

POLL DU JOUR

• 50% of U.S. adults say they are “very dissatisfied” with the way things are going in the U.S. today; 81% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

• 24% overall are “somewhat dissatisfied” with the way things are going; 14% of Republicans, 24% of independents and 33% of Democrats agree.

• 22% are “somewhat satisfied”; 5% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 45% of Democrats agree.

• 3% are “very satisfied”; 0% of Republicans, 3% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,378 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 11-15.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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